Image features three swimmers in the midst of a race, rendered in oranges and blues. The poster is for the Munich Olympic Games of 1972. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Going for Gold
For the organizers of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, the event presented an opportunity to redefine global perceptions of German identity. It was seen as a chance for Germany to distance itself from the dark memory of the 1936 Games in Berlin, staged under Hitler’s rule. A primary objective for the 1972 Games, as scholars...
Image features a pastel pink hand-held mixer with metal plate under a long handle; on/off switch and speed control at side and top of handle; white underside with two circular openings at front to receive two removable metal beaters. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Mixing Food and Matching Colors
In 1955 General Electric released a line of kitchen appliances available in what they called “mix-and-match colors.” From canary yellow dishwashers to cadet blue refrigerators, one could construct an entire kitchen with G.E.’s colorful products. A two-page spread in Better Homes and Gardens from 1956 explained how one could entirely modernize his or her kitchen...
Image features a length of woven textile with an off-white ground and irregular squares and rectangles in different twill weaves and different fibers, in ivory, copper, gray, and dark brown. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Present Perfect
Manufactured by Dedar, the furnishing fabric Present Perfect has the visual qualities of a hand-embroidered textile, with its asymmetrical and punctuated patterning, but it is a jacquard-woven fabric that plays with texture and light. The abstract composition of geometric shapes realized with yarns of different thicknesses, colors, and material is distinctive against the jute and...
Image features a wallpaper with two columns of triangles, black on one side, gray on the other. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Triangle Illusions
I came across this unusual mid-century paper that I thought was designed for use as a focal wall, a very common wall treatment of the period. Initially I passed it by, thinking it was not interesting enough for an Object of the Day blog, but then I found an advertisement in an Interiors magazine that...
A dark brown paper stencil with a cut-away pattern of triangles joined in lines of two or three.
Martial Iris
In the traditional Japanese craft of katagami, paper stencils are carved by master artisans for use in decorating textiles. Documented since at least the sixteenth century, the technique developed out of methods originally devised for embellishing leather armor. Some common katagami motifs record this history: the stylized iris pattern that appears on this stencil symbolizes bravery....
Image features: Lined drape with a hand block printed checkerboard design of two abstracted tree designs. In tan, brown and green on a beige ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Checkered Flower
The Milwaukee Handicraft Project’s block printing unit developed as an off-shoot of the bookbinding unit, when the designers there decided to decorate their book covers with linoleum block prints. This quickly evolved into the creation of printed yardage. Barbara Warren was among the graduates of the Milwaukee Teacher’s College art department who served as designer/supervisor,...
Image features a wallpaper with a pattern of insect wings printed in black on a bright blue ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Winging It
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Here is a simple wallpaper pattern, a repeating design of insect wings, that I find amusing. You know, those pesky things you might find on your window sill or picnic table during the summer months, that you...
Image features a design for chromium-plated bronze floor lamp for the print room of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s Topside Gallery in the Rockefeller townhouse at 10 W 54th Street, New York, New York. Above at center, object shown in elevation: circular foot in brushed chromium supports four lengths of rectangular brushed chromium straps that angle upward, stabilized by a pair of rings below and a single ring above, to hold polished chromium, semispherical shade. Below, object shown in plan. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Matron of Modern Design
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers—and  today, patrons—in the collection. While this month we’ve been celebrating women designers, today’s post considers the role played by women patrons in the arts, architecture, and design.[1] Where modernism in America is concerned, one of the most influential actors in...
Image features: A white four-sided selvage textile loosely woven with striped pattern on the bottom half. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
Hitomi I
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Sheila Hicks is one of the most important living artists today, who has chosen fiber as her primary medium. The museum is fortunate enough to have over sixty works spanning more than fifty years of her career,...